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FT’s editorial today:
‘…Since his re-election as prime minister in 2011, Mr Erdogan has become an unpredictable and unsettling political figure. It is difficult to imagine that his elevation to the presidency will temper this.
On some issues, he has shown statesmanship. After years of fruitless conflict, Mr Erdogan has launched a brave gamble to end the 30-year insurgency of the Kurdistan Worker’s party (PKK), which has cost about 40,000 lives. But this is a rare example of political maturity at a time when he has been an controversial actor in Middle Eastern policy.
Whatever happens to the presidency, it is hard to see the economy doing better than stagnate. The country’s weak current account and dependence on short-term flows to finance its yawning deficit make it acutely vulnerable to external ripples let alone shocks – a risk magnified by Mr Erdogan’s willingness to undermine the independence of economic management.
Mr Erdogan has the numbers to prevail, not least because he retains the support of the Anatolian masses, whose living standards have increased. However, it would be in Turkey’s best interests were he not to win a landslide on the first round, but was at least forced into a more testing contest…’